Poundland sales pass 1 billion pound mark for first time

Poundland, Europe's largest single-price discount retailer, said it expected to meet full-year profit expectations as a rise in fourth quarter sales took annual revenue over the 1 billion pound ($1.5 billion) mark for the first time.

Poundland, which trades from 547 UK stores, 41 in Ireland under the Dealz fascia, and is running a trial in Spain, said sales in the 13 weeks to March 29 grew 7.1 percent at constant currency, versus growth of 10.2 percent in its third quarter.

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For the 12 months total revenue excluding Spain grew 11.8 percent at constant currency to just over 1.1 billion pounds, the firm said, and rose 2.4 percent on a same store comparison.

With recession-era shopping habits entrenched, discount retailers, both in general merchandise and food, are taking sales from Britain's "big four" supermarkets.

Poundland said it had opened 60 net new stores in the UK and Ireland and had a strong pipeline of openings for the new year.

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Last week the group learned it would likely have to sell some stores to avoid its proposed 55 million pound takeover of smaller rival 99p Stores b referred for an in-depth investigation by British competition regulators.

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority said the deal, which would add 251 stores to Poundland's estate, could result in a substantial cut to competition and would face a further probe unless acceptable undertakings were offered by April 16.

Poundland said on Tuesday it would make an announcement in due course.

Analysts are on average forecasting a pretax profit for 2014-15 of 44 million pounds.

Shares in Poundland, which floated in March 2014 at 300 pence, closed at 332 pence on Monday, valuing the business at around 830 million pounds.

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